From 1 January to 30 September 2020, 2 site verifications were conducted in Al-Anbar Governorate in support of high priority stabilization and humanitarian interventions.
Removed approximately 44 explosive remnants of war (ERW), 311 improvised explosive devices (IED), 99 IED main charges, and 3 suicide belts in retaken areas.
Conducted 3 clearance tasks enabling UNDP and the Government of Iraq to move forward with the rehabilitation of critical infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, bridges etc. and humanitarian actors to move forward with urgent life-saving interventions.
Coordinated and completed 1 joint assessment mission enabling the UN and humanitarian partners to deliver humanitarian aid as soon as retaken areas became accessible.
16 police officers, including 8 women trained in First Response to identify, mark and report explosive ordnance, 198 UN security personnel, including 64 women trained in Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE), 13 students trained in EOD, and 60 government officials including 14 women trained in mine action management.
95 cash-for-work employees, 205 Governmental personnel trained to recognize and behave safely in the presence of explosive ordnance while working in high-risk environments such as Mosul.
19,277 people received explosive ordnance risk education and risk awareness training in schools, internally displaced person (IDP) camps, and other high priority areas.
Extensive conflict in Iraq to retake cities from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) displaced more than 5.8 million people between 2014 and 2017 and resulted in significant explosive ordnance contamination following associated military campaigns, in addition to IED deliberately left behind by ISIL.
4.6 million people have since returned home and the Government of Iraq, supported by the UN, is working to facilitate the safe, dignified and voluntary return of the remaining approximate 1.3 million people.
The explosive ordnance problem is complex, extensive, and exceeds the capacity of the existing resources to address it. The Government, the UN, and other national and international stakeholders have prioritized the clearance of explosive ordnance as the essential ‘first step’ before any rehabilitation or reconstruction work can be carried out on key infrastructure or residential buildings. Rehabilitation and reconstruction activities are critical to re-establish basic services and get people home safely to affected areas.
UNMAS addresses the threat posed by explosive ordnance in Iraq through three pillars of work:
Explosive Hazard Management
A blended approach, combining national and international commercial companies and NGOs, enables survey and clearance response in areas retaken from ISIL in direct support of the Government of Iraq and UN humanitarian and stabilization plans. When requested through the UN system, UNMAS deploys assessment teams, followed by specialized teams including: survey, high-risk search, battle area clearance, mechanical assets, and/or debris management.
UNMAS supports a nationally led and implemented response. Building on existing capacities, UNMAS’ focus is to provide training and technical advice to the Government of Iraq in various ministries: mine action authorities, Ministry of Interior (police and civil defence), and government operations coordination centres to support the management, regulation and coordination of response to explosive ordnance. The “National Strategy and Executive Plan for Mine Action 2017-2021” was launched in December 2017 with support from UNMAS.
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education
Coordinated with the UN Protection Cluster and the national authorities, risk education is provided to affected populations and humanitarian workers. Efforts are specifically targeting communities living in, or returning to, retaken areas known or suspected to be contaminated with explosive ordnance. UNMAS has provided national authorities with management training to improve coordination and management of risk education in Iraq.
UNMAS in Iraq is solely funded bilaterally through contributions to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund. In 2019 and 2020, UNMAS secured USD 43.3 million in funds. To date, UNMAS in Iraq has received contributions from Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand (including in-kind support), Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Sweden (including in-kind support), and the United Kingdom.
UNMAS is making consistent efforts to raise additional funds to respond to the needs for survey and clearance, risk education and technical support of government entities, and also to support the Recovery and Resilience Programme and the Humanitarian Response Plan.
Data updated: September 2020